Definition of ark in English:



  • 1(in the Bible) the ship built by Noah to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the Flood; Noah's ark.

    1. 1.1archaic A ship or boat.
      • ‘So many of the chapters offer versions of the ark, boats built for human survival against the storms of God and/or nature.’
      • ‘And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.’
      • ‘Irving Berlin sailed in his beloved ark to the age of 101.’
  • 2

    1. 2.1A chest or cupboard housing the Torah scrolls in a synagogue.
      • ‘Likewise, a room to contain the various Holy Arks that store the many Torah scrolls used on Mondays and Thursdays, Shabbatot and Festivals at the Western Wall will be built in one of the halls adjacent to the prayer hall.’
      • ‘This symbol, which also appears above Holy Arks, originates in the Bible: ‘He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust ".’
      • ‘Surprisingly, similar domes were found on the two Holy Arks in Livorno on the western coast of Italy.’
      • ‘The woodwork of the Aron Hakodesh, the Holy Ark in which the Torah is stored, is original.’
      • ‘The Holy Ark was made of cedar wood covered with gold (in essence a wooden box between two gold ones).’
      • ‘There were two Arons (Holy Arks) in the camp of Israel.’
      • ‘There are six arches on each side of the Holy Ark corresponding to the number of books of the Mishna; each arch has a pole with five bulbs representing the five books of the Torah.’
      • ‘In 1953 they pictured Holy Arks from synagogues in the Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Petah Tikvah, and Safed.’
      • ‘The bold phrase from the Psalms stands in relief over most Holy Arks in the synagogues.’
      • ‘Traces of Holy Arks, between the three openings, were discovered as well.’
      • ‘The synagogue possesses two Aron Hakodeshim (Holy Arks) on the eastern front, where the entrance is.’
      • ‘Three Holy Arks are set into the thick southern wall with a colorful rose window above them.’
      • ‘Donated by New York financier and philanthropist Ira Rennert, the new Holy Ark was designed by Avraham Avargel - the same architect who constructed the large Ark at the Western Wall plaza.’
      • ‘When his eye caught sight of the Holy Ark, he put down his broom and approached it.’
      • ‘In the sixteenth century the vessels of the Tabernacle motif appeared on the inner sides of the doors of the Holy Arks in Synagogues.’
  • 3A small bivalve mollusc which attaches itself to rocks with byssus threads.

    • ‘Our primary goals are to characterize patterns of morphological variation within and between geminate arks and evaluate the utility of shell shape for distinguishing between recent geminate species.’
    • ‘A test of genetic population structure showed that the ark shell in Korea formed a large genetic group.’
    • ‘More than seven species of the Ark shells are found in the Galveston Bay region.’
    • ‘The Twisted Ark Shell has a nearly paper-thin, delicate shell, which is substantially larger than the smaller strong, heavy shell of the Ponderous Ark shell.’
    • ‘The oldest records about ark shells are found in Fishery Production List of 1814.’
    sanctuary, place of shelter, refuge, accommodation, housing, home, place of safety, haven, safe haven, sanctum, safe house
    View synonyms
  • 4A low hut used to house livestock, often incorporating a covered run.

    ‘we reassembled the pig ark in preparation for our spring arrivals’
    ‘poultry arks make useful supervised runs for guinea pigs’
    • ‘The Government measures aim to reduce the visual impact of ‘shackery’ (makeshift farm buildings), such as pig arks, caravans and cowsheds.’
    • ‘On Saturday we finished the fencing, stapling sheep netting to the rails, and on Sunday gave the pig ark and the old chook ark a coat of water-based preservative.’
    • ‘The Welsh Black Cattle and Jacob Sheep all graze freely with their young, and the Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs are also free-range, with pig arks for shelter.’
    • ‘Next to Alf were two brothers who had a larger acreage, and they made it into a poultry farm using mobile arks or hen-houses for the birds.’
    • ‘We stopped counting the hens in their ark at night once the new arrivals had settled in - we'll now start doing so again.’
    • ‘We moved the laying hens into the small ark yesterday.’


Old English ærc, from Latin arca chest.